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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  August 12, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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>> rose: welcome to the program this evening john olt i ver who is sitting in for jon stewart as host of the daily show on comedy central. >> having a human conversation is not something i've had any training in either as a comedian or as, you know, a human being. i'm british so human conversations are not something we excel in. we like to repress what you are talking about, and that is why you love downton abbey, everybody is talk around what they think. so having a 6 minute conversation about the thing you actually want to talk about is very jarring to me. >> rose: john oliver for the hour. next, funding for charlie rose was provided by the following:
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: john oliver is here, a comedian and political satirist this
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summer he has been filling in as host of comedy central's the daily show while jon stewart is directing his first movie. >> welcome to the dilley show, i'm john oliver and let's all just acknowledge for a moment that this is weird. >> this looks weird t feels weird t even sounds weird. it sounds weird to me and this is my actual voice. look. if you haven't heard by now jon stewart is going to be away for the summer. he's gone to a small italian village to learn how to cobble shoes. (laughter) >> rose: since 2006 he has been the show's senior british correspondent. here's a look at him in action, ridiculing the politics of gun control. >> meet rob borebich, former premier of queensland, australia's most conservative state. in 1996 he was instrumental in enacting gun control. knowing it would cost him his political career in the
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next election. >> we paid a high political price. but we did the right thing. >> look there are australians alive today because we took that action. i mean how much is a life worth? >> rose: but jim manly knows that a true public servant has more important concerns. >> what makes a politician successful? >> getting re-elected by his or her con sfit-- constituents. >> right, yes. that is how you judge success. >> okay. well, getting legislation done. >> it's second. >> is second, yes. >> that is second. >> holy [bleep], that is second? >> if coy rewind this tape i would say getting legislation done and getting re-elected by your constituents but seeing as we can't rewind the tape let's just go with the answer you gave on instinct. >> if you don't get re-elected, you know, you are just roadkill in the
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political process. and you're just another loser. >> rose: . >> tragically not everyone understands this. what makes a politician successful? >> making society a better place. >> no, no, no. rob. no. look, we can-- we can actually rewind the tape. are we rolling? >> what makes a politician successful? >> well, it's your responsibility to govern in the best interests of the people that you serve. >> oh boy. >> oh boy. john also help on new york stand-up show in comedy central n his fourth season, i'm pleased to have him here at this table for the first time, bell come. nice to you have here. >> thank you, mr. rose t is a pleasure to be with you. >> rose: okay, stop that, mr. rose. so the expectations of doing this. >> yes. >> rose: in comparison to doing it. >> right, of doing jon
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stewart, of doing jon stewart badly. >> rose: well, no, just doing it we'll get to badly later. >> okay, i appreciate that. no, the expectation, i knew it would be terrifying. and it did not disappoint. and-- i wasn't sure it would be quite as much fun as it's been. it's been a huge amount of fun. >> rose: what makes it fun? >> well, because you get to-- i've worked on this show for 7 years so it's like being a kind of nascar pit crew member. i know how the engine works but i've never got to drive it before. only when you drive it dow learn how fast goes. >> rose: and you also realize it is a finely tuned machine. >> it is amazing. the show is an amazing machine. and a machine that jon has very strategically and int ri catly built himself. he has taught almost everyone in that building how to dot particular version of their job they do so skillfully. so yeah t was-- it's been-- i'm even more impressed with the whole machine now than i was before i got the perspective of looking at it. >> rose: it raise the question though, they finely
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tuned it for him. and then they're dropping you in to a machine that was finely tuned for him. >> well, he finely tuned it for him. it is built-- he has built this thing over, you know, a decade and a half, which can be did --. >> rose: has it been that long. >> it has been that long, i know. it's been awhile. so yeah, my real, my main responsibility was not to destroy that machine in three months. that was the main responsibility. you go no, i guess it showed how well the machine works that he's built. if you can have someone who does not have his skill sets, run it, and not crash it. >> rose: what skill sets does very that you don't have? >> well, almost all of them higher than me. almost everything plus 50%. >> rose: sow has better timing than you? >> i think that's probably objectively true. i mean he's very good at-- the things that probably you don't see that he's great at. obviously he's very funny when you see him perform the
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show. >> rose: likewise are you. >> i appreciate that. but really its skill is everything that happens before then. performing the show is a bit of fun at the end of the day or, you know, it's not always fun. sometimes it's painful. but the day is making that show that you put in the prompter. >> rose: as finely tuned as you can possibly make it. >> as you can. and it won't always be as finely tuned as you want it to be. you will literally run out of time. but as a manager he is spectacular. he is absolutely spectacular. and so sitting in those shoes, i have even more respect for what he's able to do in overseeing the whole show. >> he is the managing editor. >> he's everything. i mean he has fingers in every part of the show. he took-- himself describes it as a creative dictatorship. so every one on the show contributes but h is overseeing everything. you know, he's in with us at the start of the day and he
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usually leaves after we've all left. >> walk us through the day. behind the scenes of the daily show. you get there at whatever time and start the first meeting at whatever time. >> so like 9:00 in the morning we have a writer's meeting. so that will be discussing what we're going to do on the show that day. now hopefully we will have a basic sense of that, especially if it's a tuesday, wednesday or thursday from the previous afternoon, to try and get a little bit ahead. so studio production who have already been in before that writer's meeting will bring up clips that they think would be useful, funny, good to juxtapose. and so from that discussion which should take about 45 minutes,. if it takes much longer than that we're already sowing the seeds of trouble which will bloom into a disaster later. so people are sent away to do the single parts of the script or two people work on one thing. they need to come in, in about-- about an hour, hour and 15 minutes. that's the most frantic point of the day where you are looking at a blank
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screen and churning out jokes and ideas for jon to look at. he will then give you notes on those, go back, redraft, possibly that will repeat itself once or twice more during the day. we'll rehearse at 4:15. that is literally just talking to an empty room, you know, comedy is great in an empty room. and then there will be another rewrite between rehearsal and the show. and that's it. but what you can-- you can rewrite jokes quickly. jokes aren't that easy to write. aren't that hard to write, especially when you have people around you that are funny. what you can't do in that time of the day is completely redo the structure so the point of view of the fact has to be in place. >> that would be the hardest thing. is finding the narrative. >> because you can rewrite jokes up to the last moment. you can even make, change them on the fly. what you can't do is change the spine of the show. if you mess that spine up, you are in big trouble. >> rose: that's a group
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decision? figuring out what the spine is, with writers and with jon and everybody. >> it is a creative dictato dictatorship. people put in and jon will-- . >> rose: what do you think. >> yeah, and jon drives it. >> rose: the dumbest idea i have ever horde. >> or he will try to reframe it is aing that is a great idea for another dimension where we do that. let's do this instead. and yeah, ten times, he's usually right. >> rose: the hardest thing for to you do has been what, the interviews or what? >> it was initially. because as you can tell from the australian piece, my training in interviews is relatively inhumane. you know, it's to-- . >> rose: to make fun. >> it's to attack, or, you know, to certainly make fun of. and so it-- having a human conversation is not something i've had any training in either as a comedian or as, you know, a human being. i'm british so human conversations are not something we excel in. we like to repress what you are talking about and we-- that is why you love downton abbey. everyone is talk around what
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they actually think. so having a six minute conversation about the thing you actually want to talk about is very, very jarring to me. >> rose: but don't you like it? >> i've learned to like it, yeah. i've learned to. >> rose: because watching you, you have the impression which iser good s the conversation could continue. and you sometime does for the web. but it is the notion that you're getting a chance to do things in which you simply can explore your curiosity and dow not have to go for the jugular at every other second. >> and you know that's the thing. there is a crunch of time at work. so there is a sense where you have to go for the jugular or for the point fast. there is not much room to breathe in those. you are trying to get as many things and as many jokes as possible into one place where. as in a discussion with, you know, whoever, senator gillebrand who was last thursday, you request have a more-- you can let the thing breathe a bit more. >> rose: david letterman at this table once said to me, you know, i would love to do what you do. the way you do it because you done have to have a laugh every minute.
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>> right. >> rose: and i have to find a laugh every minute. >> yeah. >> rose: with some exceptions. >> yeah, that's right. but-- also, he has-- he has a contempt which is earned. so he can-- he can sit in front of an actor who he demonstrably has no interest in and whose movie he clearly has not seen, and he can make fun of them and that's fine. because he's earned that over decades. >> rose: yate, right. >> i can't do that. that's another level of obnoxiousness. >> rose: an unearned -- >> exactly. you can't do that. so i would like to be able to sit back like letterman and says this seems bad this movie, and i admire your vig never selling it but it's to the going to work. >> rose: how do you approach it when you know the movie, don't like the movie or the performance of the person sitting in front of you? >> i have been quite lucky because most of the movies have been at least tolerable and up from there. otherwise you try and find something else to talk about. >> rose: exactly. >> i asked you about all of this before i started, remember.
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and i was looking, that was the thing that was most concerning me so you got to help me. what's your rip cord. >> rose: that's exactly right. >> i wanted you to say, remember your father to me. i haven't had to use that yet which shows it's been all right. remember your father to me. that was going to be mitel for-- . >> rose: i'm embarrassed you told that. it's true. because it makes people go into memory. >> yeah. well, so, i've tried that a couple of times. like i've found out something about them of a more personal nature or something that i thought that we shared. and we can try and talk about that to run out the clock. >> rose: so you have been doing this for the summer. >> yeah. >> rose: you have from now until september 1st. >> the reviews are fantastic, without exception, i have not seen anybody, let me just say. >> without exception you have not been on the internet then. >> no, i have not, no, i have not. >> you will find exceptions there. >> rose: you mean comments or actual reviews.
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>> either way. anyone could write a review. >> rose: comments say everything. >> sure. >> rose: you know, it's just-- but i have seen people like the guardian. >> right. >> rose: that may have come from a profile as well but they're saying, you know, two things. one they say, he's just step mood this job, it's great, it's different from jon but it's greatment then they say you are the heir to this show or they ought to give you a show. they say everything. >> oh, that's nice. >> rose: don't read it, do in the read it. >> i'm not. i've kept well away from all of that. anything around it, those are the many things that jon was helpful about, before he was-- just try and ignore the ripple effect of the show. you want to try and ignore that as much as possible. because it becomes annoying. like you will have-- even the conversation i had with senator gillebrand. i saw a couple of things after the fact which was perfect example of him being correctedly warning me, he describes it as oh, attacks. eviscerates, the daily show goes after-- and it really
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wasn't, you know, that kind of hyperbole does no one any favors. and it's so annoying because it feels like it's recontextualizing what was really supposed to be a polite, you know, probing interview, or interview in the old-- . >> rose: when i saw you do that i said hey, well done. because you said to her, you were talking about the fact that she was the number one recipient of money from wall street and goldman sachs and others. and you said, i thought brilliantly, what did they get for that? >> explain to me. >> but that's just, on a human level, it is not a very awful question. that's what i want to know. that was my curiosity. she evaded it because she's brilliant at evasion. and i like her. i just thought it might be more interesting to-- it's easy-- i think i said to her, it's today have that conversation with someone that you naturally distrust but it's harder and perhaps more interesting with someone who you admire. because, her being compromised not nay criminal
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sense but just financially compromised, you feel, is interesting for me to talk about. and she-- you know, she was expertly got around that point. >> rose: by not answering the question. >> right. >> rose: yeah, do you think after this summer's guest hosting we all pretty much know your politics? s. >> i don't know. >> rose: but i mean in terms of the questions, in terms of the people you like, in terms of the people you admire, you come away with a sense of where you are in terms of sort of big policy questions. >> probably. i mean does it matter? >> rose: it doesn't matter at all. >> i don't think my opinion really matters at all. >> -f it's not that it matters but do you in a sense of this, do you get a sense of where that person is in terms of some -- >> there have been-- maybe. there have been definitely the stranger momentses of the summer, we've been lucky because the summer is ibmly as you know, slow. and we've had, a right track,
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sprinkles, gay marriage, royal baby. >> rose: so it's not slow. >> no, it's been nasdaq, nsa, anthony weiner, incredibly ridiculous. >> rose: the gift that keeps giving. >> that's right, which cannot not give. >> rose: yes. >> but there were momentsment like two shows in particular, a pretty hard to navigate when it's feelings of complete despair. the trayvon martin verdict i felt personally very, you know, it's very difficult. there's a lot of emotion. and even more so i felt that was the first time i really felt john's absence. >> we the jury find george zimmerman not guilty. >> holy fuuch. so he's innocent 1234 wait, what? how could that possible-- you-- you have got to be-- there's no-- i can't even-- oh my god! (laughter) which i guess is what we'll call tonight's segment.
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(laughter) because that feels about right. that feels in your heart about right. the audience often looked to jon to make them, to help them articulate very complicated, painful feelings. and something like the trayvon martin verdict would be a moment where i could feel in the audience people are looking to jon. they're not looking to me. what they want is jon. so i felt a lot of weight on my chest that day of having to try as responsibleably and humorously as i can to help people through very complicated feelings. >> rose: i'm reminded of the time you said we will have for you this summer everything you love about the show except the thing you love the most. >> yeah, exactly. its-- the show is going to be the same, just the reason to watch it is gone. so that's what this summer has been, yeah. you just sometimes you just feel wow, it's like people opening a present and thinking that's not the bike i wanted.
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>> rose: i did want a bike. >> i wanted a bike. and i get that that has two wheels. but-- it's not as good. >> rose: no, and the color sucks. >> exactly. that is how it feels, kind of children are forced, oh, no, grandma. >> rose: i know. >> this was not it. >> rose: i love this, i need this, but no. >> i wanted this so badly and you have not given it. >> rose: what about those people who say the daily show ought to be called the daily writers, that this is a show that writers have played a huge role in defining. that in no way takes anything away from jon or you. but it is writers who have given it something special because they're so good. >> we have great writers, there's no doubt about that. and jon is-- the head-- you know, not the head writer but he is over the head. >> rose: definitely. >> jon is-- you know, the uber writer. but it is a huge-- it is collaborative beyond just the writing. our studio production, all the clips, montages. >> rose: where do its clips
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come from. how many people do you have in the basement? >> that basement, that shadowy basement is-- you know, one of the engines of the show. >> rose: a big engine. >> a big engine, so it isn't-- the writing is great. but the writing comes from somewhere. so it is a more collaborative model than perhaps a traditional structure of a television show. >> rose: it is the nonhuman genius of the show. >> yes. >> rose: so we used -- >> we used to just have a stack of tivos recording everything. and then people watching it like clockwork orange, just having to-- . >> rose: so you used to have that, what do you have now? >> now there are programs that are a little easier. you can type in key words, lexis-nexis style rr give you all the clips on that subject. >> will give the clips so you can type in a phrase and it will-- . >> rose: amazing. >> yeah so, that has definitely eased the day and certainly means that we can work quicker. i was there in the days of
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the tivo. that was a little-- that's when are you the questioning-- getting people from the basement saying i've seen thing us wouldn't believe. it all get it's a little deregueur down there. >> rose: when they find something sweet it's like you've got too see this. >> it pretty much it is, there are definitely moments, we have one tonight where you go orbltion that is-- that is-- . >> rose: that was so sweet. >> exactly so i don't know, once every few weeks you get something, which even bring you up like a gift, saying don't eat this at once, like it's like a fine meal, just sit back, cleanse your palate before you watch this and then-- there are moments. >> rose: you can't believe that whofer said that, said that. >> yes. >> rose: and just say thank you. >> yes, exactly. thank you, thank you. >> rose: we love you because you've given us something. >> this is a great gift. >> rose: this is a great gift. >> and please know that we are going to enjoy it. >> rose: anthony weiner does some of that too. >> anthony wien certificate like a different kind of joy roller coaster. the really satisfying things are if you get the perfect
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juxtaposition. so you know, we have tonight we have chris matthews saying, senator rand paul is going to be the republican nominee. look, i do this for a living. that's where he stops. so then you say, well, do we have other examples of him getting predictions wrong because that's what we do for a living. and so yes they very much came upstairs and said uh-huh, here. how does rudy giuliani will be the next president of the united states sound. you go that sounds-- . >> rose: you don't have him saying -- >> yes, yes, yes. >> rose: coming right after he said rand paul. >> that is tonight that is literally what i'm looking forward to tonight. i'm looking forward to the air between saying this is what we do for a living and that clip starting to roll. that's split second is what i wish coy live in that air forever. >> rose: dow kiss it off by saying, this is what we do
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for a living. >> of course, of course, of course. >> rose: it's irresistable. >> of course, because that is perfect that is when they come upstairs with a clip and you just want to hug them and say thank you, thank you. >> rose: double his salary. >> that's right. quadruplele that salry. please more. because there is addictive, it's like heroin there just a gateway drug, now i want something else. >> rose: it is absolutely true. now so what-- did they do anything all these brilliant people because you were in the chair and jon wasn't? >> did we change anything. >> rose: anything. there's not much reference to your nationality s it? >> not really. because you can, you know-- . >> rose: if you don't know that. >> yeah, exactly. that becomes sonically obvious. and for stories like the royal baby, that plays in. but that would run its
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course. (cheers and applause) >> that's right. it was a boy. and finally we have a member of the royal family with an actual excuse for being a toothless petulant useless human being. (laughter) that one could get me into trouble back home. this boy's ent rance into the world came with so much pomp and circumstance it's hard for it not to seem like a royal blooup blooup you to the other 370,000 babies born that day. >> we believe the announcement now being put on the ease el, yes, in fact, it is there. it is now being chained into the famous golden ease el in front of buckham palace. >> ooh, the golden ease el. don't look directly at it, you'll make it dirty with your peasant eyes. incidentally, when there is not a royal birth announcement that ease sell traditionally used to hold the nude portrait of the queen.
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(laughter) (cheers and applause) i think legally i can still be killed for that. >> there's only so many times you can play that card before it gets pretty lazy. so no the day, basically, that is why i said at's going to be everything you love about the daily show without the thing you love the most about it. because the day has to function the same way. because there is a momentum of the machine to the day that you need-- there's a reason why jon has built it this way. because it's the most efficient way. so the way we process the information and the bile, the sauceage factory we created make that palatable sausage from disgusting ingredients, that stays, that r8 has to stay the same. there's no shall did -- there's not time enough in the day to do it a fundamentally different way. >> rose: so the idea of showing where jon is every day, so to speak. >> yeah. >> rose: whose idea? >> i can't remember. >> rose: a writer, producer, somebody. >> i can't-- i can't remember. i mean you tend to-- like ownership over jokes becomes,
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everything gets rewritten and rewritten so many times it's hard to pin down. i'm not sure who that was. but i liked the idea of it because it's jon's show. now i liked the idea of thinking about him at the start of the show, you know, like you don't want to change that, this is his show. this is-- i'm driving his car. this is not my car. i'm just driving the a beautiful car for a bit and i'll throw the keys back at him. >> rose: and you had all the other correspondents, you, how long have been on this show, i have been on how many years. >> right. >> rose: why him, for goodness sakes. >> it felt like in the first show there was going to be an important catharsis, one to acknowledge, at the start how strange, how physically strange it is to have the camera go in and not have the man you love it up there, have a different man, a different bike, that you are disappointed by, and the other thing was to have, basically have the corcovers in beautiful escalation. >> rose: we share the same feeling. >> saying we hate you. >> rose: you who's the wrong guy, you could have gotten m, oi. >> and having ever sowinged seed saying this summer is
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going to be a does as ter. point teg elephant in the room saying we all know is there. we'll try and not make this a disaster but the elephant is there and we all see it, yeah. >> rose: when you joined, how did you gets to the daily snow. >> i was working. i was writing in england. and they always were looking for people. >> rose: they've got scouts all over the place. >> that's right. there is a hot one in liverpool. >> look at you, kid, i'm going to make you a basic cable star. it's not going to be worth that much money. >> rose: you have a future in america. >> yeah. they were looking for someone and i think ricky gervais. >> rose: that's what i heard. >> i think jon had asked him when they were promoting the book in london if they knew of anyone. i had never met him at that point. but he knew. kind of stuff i was writing so it all happened very quickly after that. i came over here. and. >> rose: did a piece or stand-up. >> i did a piece, ilanned a sunday night and i was on the show monday. yeah, and i had never been to america before. >> rose: first time you had ever been to america.
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>> yeah is so it was-- it moved fast, to the point that my stuff is still in storeage in london, that's how fast moves. so there is a time capsule of my previous life in south london. >> rose: what were you doing in london. >> i was doing staun, i was writing comedy for various tv shows and watching the daily show because i loved that was for me the high standard of satire and political comedy on television. that is what i wanted to do in england. and it was very difficult. and i was not, my intention was not to join the thing i loved. >> rose: what is interesting, and i think a lot of people would agree with that, is that we often thought that the best, the best of is a tire had to be in london, for a long time, way back to that were the week that was. >> that might have been true then, yeah. >> rose: with peter cook. >> peter cook was, absolutely. you talk about beyond the fringe, peter cook, jonathan miller, all of those guise. that probably was the high standard at that point. but what jon has done over the last surprising decade
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and a half, i think, i think he has the baton at the moment of this is as good as satire gets. >> rose: not only that, he has created because of what heily does show is, other daily shows in different countries. >> right, yeah, absolutely. sammiousev in egypt. he will openly say that jon stewart is his hero, and the standard by which he judges himself. so yeah, he in egypt who has to live with the consequences of decisions making jokes it is not just audience silence, but sometimes being arrested. so yeah, it's-- it's-- jon is the high watermark of comedy. >> so all the attention does not in the least make you take anything for granted? >> i have been throwing it in since 1998. >> rose: it works y stop. >> you know, you don't take things for granted. >> rose: and you work as hard today as did you when you began. >> probably harder. well, hopefully harder,
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because hopefully we've gotten better at what we do, which means we're able to synthesize more material and take larger chances. and so once you establish a rhythm of how you do the show, you have to work harder to evolve it and to constantly try and improve it and ultimately what will happen is our voice will become somewhat tired and somewhat redundant and predictable and that will be that. and 20 years from now we'll all meet on a panel telecom dee festival and we'll be real old and the new comedy satire guy will interview us for a little segment on hbo. which by then will be tv, you know, even though it's not tv now. and that will be that. but that's not the measure of your life. and that's not-- the measure of it is to be proud of what you're doing and to work with people that you enis-- enjoy working with for as long as you can do it. >> rose: when you came here, who did you look to for inspiration. i mean somebody like-- some
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other correspondent like stephen or -- >> i like stephen very much. i like rob corddry a lot because he was very silly. and so i watched their pieces a lot. and then i watched-- i watched lots of stephen's unedited tapes. so you could see him sit down with someone for an hour and a half and you could see how fence it was in that roomment and you could see what he was trying to do. and so i watched those quite religiously for the first few weeks because i wanted to see how you dealt with the tension in that room. and how you got what you needed from the story. and how focused you needed to be. so that was quite instructive. >> rose: i found out here having done this for 20 plus years. >> no, come on now, come on, come on, 30, let's be honest. >> rose: okay. i wish, i will be here, i will be here in 30. >> up's get 30. you'll get going at 30. >> rose: your gold coin that is what they will give me, a watch, maybe. >> maybe a watch with just a hand saying it's time. it's time to go.
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>> rose: good-bye. >> yeah. >> rose: you can go to london and have a good time. >> right. >> rose: do the mu seeps, whatever you like. so what is interesting to me about it is that when yo you-- watching it and watching what all of your doing t is that all artists that i have interviewed at this table study each other. painters will tell you, they go to the museum and they're looking at just what you said did you with stephen. you know, how did they do that brush stroke or why did they choose that color, or she, whatever, musicians listen other musicians. you know. >> for sure. i watched jon pretty intricately, borderline creepily for seven years. >> rose: but certainly clinically. >> no, because i want to see moments of the day, moments of the day, what decisions he makes and why he makes them. and-- . >> rose: not because you want to sit in the chair. >> no, no, because i wanted-- i want to learn what is going through his head. because he's working at a different level. he's in a different universe of skill. and it was the same with
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stephen. i wanted to watch how he was getting to decision. not necessarily to copy the decisions. >> rose: exactly. >> but to understand how it had got there. so yeah, it's often the case withstandup comedy. you, i like watching other stand-ups because it makes you-- it challenges what you are doing and sometimes it will make you think oh, god, i need to work a lot harder. you watch louis ck and you think i need to get better. because that is an embarrassing comparison. >> rose: that's good for you t keeps you hungry. >> of course it's good, it's close to-- . >> rose: i am not even close to being -- >> the moment you start feeling comfortable, are you going to start-- your learning curve will get significantly flatter. so you want someone to embarrass you into performing better. >> rose: is it different, is it a different or better training either way if you came from improve, stephen, stand-up, you and jon. >> yeah, it is definitely different. and you can definitely feel a slight instinct to do things a different way. i'm very much of jon's
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school. i like constructing jokes and projecting them. the whole friendliness of improv is not something that shall did -- i come from a background in comedy which is competitive, it is you versus the audience. not-- not the improv which is let's all-- we can do this together. it's my fall by i'm to the going to cop to that. i'm not going to admit it. >> rose: i really wasn't good but i won't admit it. >> they're definitely different backgrounds. and so that is-- there is a key difference there between jon an stephen. >> rose: you said once you have to kill the thing inside of you that is holding you back. kill the thing inside of you that is holding you back. turn off the human side. >> yeah. well, that is true of field pieces in particular. because you can have to say things that are to the going to be fun in the moments. >> rose: looking for a reaction. >> looking for a reaction. looking for an honest reaction. but to not do it is to sit
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through an edit for two weeks afterwards where all are you thinking is why didn't i say that thing. so in the-- in the gun control piece, so i had to sit down with the exprime minister john howard there. relatively significant, statesman, i say relatively because he's australian, so you know. >> rose: yes. >> but i knew, i was going to have to physically embody the try dense of the pro gun movement in america. and i was going to have to project that at him to get an honest response from him. so you want someone to be visibly shocked by how dogmatic that point of view is. now the theory of that seems fine until you're sitting down with an ex-world leader and you are about to speak to him in a way that he's not used to being spoken to. but you can't prep him beforehand because then it becomes too comfortable. you want him to be as angry with you as he should be, after what you have said. and you are saying something that someone else has said and are you channeling that
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through. so that's not-- there's nothing pleasant about that. but if you flip that switch in your soul, you get what you need. and then you either flick it on afterwards over leave it off. >> rose: you flick off the switch that says it needs to be pleasant. >> yeah, because if it is pleasant you probably have got a problem. >> rose: it's not comedic. >> it won't be comedic. it won't read as real. what we were saying to him in the australian piece is that his gun control scheme was a failure. he shouldn't have done t and he was an idiot to try. >> rose: because he's no long never politics. >> right, exactly. so what you need that is an offensive thing to say. so you need to get the emotions, you need someone to be offend. so you have to offend him. >> rose: and what does it do afterwards, after you finish the piece and are getting ready to walk off. >> jon, so that was rob borebich, the governor of queensland, john howard was not that thrilled. because you know, you can-- you can try and reassure him by saying look,
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this is-- shades of irony at work here. your scheme is going to be, i'm embodying an idiot. you can-- you can try that as much as you can. he was pretty annoyed. now when he saw the piece in the end, i have heard through various channels, he was pleased. i don't really care ---- but he was pleased. but no, in that moment, yeah, sometimes, the last thing i want is to stop the interview because that is when the camera comes down, all of a sudden you are sort of so, what was that about. you go i don't know. i've got to go. i've got to go. >> rose: my plane is leaving. >> exactly. those are the bad bits. >> rose: yeah. and what did gille brand say to you after you had done that, what you basically said to her. wall street is buying you. what are they getting? >>. >> she was fine. i hope she was fine. because i don't think there was-- . >> rose: she said how great you were and just get tougher. >> right. i mean, yeah, i guess it was tough. it was just a question. it was just a question. it wasn't a got you. she's not-- it's not
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like-- she's openly, that's easily available information. >> rose: being who you are and what it's done with you and for you and how great it is, would you like doing something like i do? you know? >> no, for real? >> rose: yeah. >> no, no, no. i like jokes. no, no i couldn't do this. i'm not qualified do what you do. >> rose: yeah, you are. >> no, i'm not, no, no, i'm not. i'm not qualified to sit down with a world leader and have a broad ranging discussion about the issues of the day. because there are instincts that i have that are inappropriate in that scenario. i can't shut them down. i couldn't shut them down when i was in a class room at 8 years old, i certainly can't do it now. >> rose: so when you decide you wanted to be a comedian, if you make a decision like that, what did your parents who were teachers-- what did they say? >> they were here comes the parents thing. -- . >> rose: i should never have told you thatness i see the tell. >> rose: it wasn't that. >> no, no, no.
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they were-- i think they were-- it's hard for them to watch. my mom doesn't love seeing me behave that way. she doesn't love to see it. >> rose: what would she like. >> well, she would like me to be a nice boy. >> rose: how about jon who gets everybody to laugh, that's great. >> yeah, i know but-- . >> rose: shows you how popular my john is. >> she doesn't care about that she has never called me johnnie. that is a level of affection and friendlies than british people don't have. she calls me mr. oliver. no, i think it's hard for them. it's hard for them to watch a side of you which is aggressive. >> rose: oh, really. >> i think so. because even though that aggression is earned and sometimes it's for a particular reason, she would often say i don't like watching those interviews. you're too nasty to people. i don't even want to --. >> rose: it's comedy, poll. >> it's not funny to her. comedy-- . >> rose: then you failed if it's not funny to her. >> i remember the first time-- the first time they came to new york, they,
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someone came up to me on the street and said oh, you're so funny. and she was-- she got into an argument with this girl. she was going he's not that funny. why do you think that. mom this is not how this is supposed to go. she is like i just want to know why she thinks you're funny because you've never been that funny. i think they like you too much. she goes what are you doing. you're my krypton identity now. >> rose: you are making a mistake in like you. >> so this poor girl didn't know what she was getting into, this british mom saying why do you like my son. >> rose: i promise you i'm to the doing what i-- i promise you. but tell me about the time when your dad who loves soccer, you call it football. >> football. >> rose: i know dourx i know it's football but i would read interviews in which you would talk about soccer. >> yeah. that's just because i have to --. >> rose: to make it palatable to an american audience. >> i just need people top understand what i am talking about. >> rose: but you would never say that. >> no, but that is a death wish. the word soccer, i'm thinking of the word football and thinking of
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american ear's inability to-- . >> rose: to transcend that their football is not our football and our football is not their football. >> they're not getting angry, then it's just giving up so i'm saying soccer. >> rose: but your dad loved it. and you saw an emotion from him. >> absolutely loved it. he is not a very tactile guy. it was the only time, i remember the first time i remember a hug from him was watching liverpool play and they scored. and he hugged me and you think oh, that's-- huh,. >> rose: it was football. >> exactly. but was it about football, yeah, probably. but yeah, no, i think british-- . >> rose: you were nearby. >> exactly it was me or a couch. >> rose: that's right. >> i think british people tend to be so repressed that we channel things. we channel our emotions like kind of emotional volume can owes. we challenge them into controllable moments like football matches or royal funerals. chose are the moments we will express anything. >> rose: do you think about becoming a naturallized citizen? >> maybe.
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i've got a green card. >> rose: i know dow. a nice ceremony they gave you back at comedy central. >> they did. and it was important to me. i got married to an american, but it was important to me that it may sound strange but it was important that i got it before i got married. because it was very, very stressful living here on a visa, very stressful. and i wanted to stay. and the longer i stayed the more i loved it here, and the more you feel how ruthless you actually are, that it could be gone in a second. it could be gone. so i really wanted to kind of be wanted here. the official recognition of the u.s. immigration service to say you're okay, kid. >> rose: that's right, you're good fluff for us, come on in. >> so it was only on getting that green card that i realized hi actually thought about it every day. >> rose: is it true that some immigration official said to you, we don't like anybody making fun of us. >> that was when i was down to 12 month visas so that meant every year i had to go to long gone, debt get out
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of the country, to the embassy and talk to an official. with all the help from the viacom lawyers they would basically say just try and get someone with a friendly face who looks like they're having a good day there is a lot of power in that middle magazine. so i walked up to the cubicle and this woman with an ashen face said give me one reason why i should let you back in my country to insult my president. and my blood ran cold. i felt my life in america dissolve on to the floor. and i said, i don't really see it that way. i'm just kidding-- she said i'm just kidding. i love the show. she did not get the huge laugh from me i was looking for. what she got was-- oh, i get-- those are high stakes are you playing with there. okay. because i-- i just saw my dream die. >> rose: what are the circumstances that would make you decide to go ahead and become a naturallized american citizen. >> i would need to be here longer. i'm not eligible. >> rose: but you want to do it. >> i think so i would like to. i would like to vote. at the moment i'm enduring taxation without representation, charlie.
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now i get it. now i get how annoying that is. >> rose: we fight over thatment. >> now i finally get it. >> rose: you mentioned your wife. tell me about your wife. because i had never knew about this until kristen gillebrand mentioned it in the interview. >> it's truchlt i hadn't intend. hi been talking about it backstage. so my wife was a combat medic in iraq in the u.s. army with first calf allry. so yes, we have-- we are an off match. >> rose: tell me how you met her. >> we met because she was at both conventions back in 2008. and i was getting chased by security because i couldn't get arrested because i was on a visa. you get arrested you are gone, one arrest you're gone. so i was literally running from security because we were shooting somewhere we were not supposed to be shooting. and these army guys hid us. and yes, she was-- she hid us, and then we got talking and then we --. >> rose: you met her again at the democratic convention. >> then we e-mailed back and forth. and then we met up and moved in a few weeks later.
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she oddz. >> rose: and got married soon. >> yeah. >> rose: is she still in the army. >> no, she's out now. she's in medical school because of this ridiculous situation where none of your credits are transferable in the u.s. army. >> rose: are you serious. >> i cannot even-- this is so frustrating. we actually tried to do something on the show about it. >> rose: this is almost as bad, but not, as the fact that veterans aren't getting the kind of funding and treatment they should get. >> it a mess. the va-- it is a spectacular mess. and it's a mess from the outside. from the inside, for me, tangentially being inside it, with my wife t is-- you want-- it is easy to ignore because it is so easy to say oh, we want the best for our veterans. our veterans should get the best. they do to the get the best that is on jifkt. and also the problem is this is not a group of people prone to complain. so it becomes very, very-- . >> rose: they don't whine. >> easy to ignore. va hospitals are brutal. to see politicians say we give our veterans the best
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health care. that is obscene. >> rose: take back to jon when he takes on that case it is a totally different demeanor though it is not comedic. the point is there is a place that several degrees apart from something that you can be satirical about. >> he and i have a bit of a trigger with that stuff. with that level of -- i guess first you might be talking about the-- that hurt him so yeah, that comes from you know, usually you try and wrap your anger in jokes. occasionally your and certificate so big that it becomes the you see it peak out a lot more. there is a-- bill for him was a absolutely months truss injustice. and the va stuff as well is something that we both have found just mind blowingly concerning. >> rose: how is this going to change your life? >> it's not. >> rose: you sure, this summer as sqlon -- >> i don't think it is going to change my life. i don't think it is. i think-- i honestly don't
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think so that's not really occurred to me. >> rose: i honestly think so. >> really? >> rose: yes. >> why? >> rose: because, a, because of the show, because you've done it so well. >> ah, thanks. >> rose: well, i mean this is-- it's clear. i said on the air they are thinking about a show for him already. now i know you will say i have enough shows. >> i don't think so. i don't-- i done-- honestly that is not-- there might be a time for me to have that mental conversation with myself. but i have been so concerned about not letting jon down this summer. because of everything he's done for me. the fact that he has told me f i have done this well at all t is seoully down to him. he has taught me how to do this job. so i desperately, desperately did not want to let him down. that's where the emotional stakes really came from. it's the i don't want to screw this up because he's trusted me with this. and for that trust to be misplaced would be defer stating. >> rose: he says, i mean he
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actually loved the show. and as you loved the show and as i loved the show and steven loved the show. it's a great thing to do to be able to have a show that you can shape and fix and change. >> yeah. >> rose: and give wings to. >> yeah. there are tough days. there are definitely-- . >> rose: whs's a tough day. >> a tough day is when you're having to deal with something where you are having to deal with just poison. it's not some of like finding-- oh,, you didn't do -- >> well, things like, like the verdict in florida. the trayvon martin, the george zimmerman verdict. or the fact that on a-- the other thing that really, really annoyed me over the summer was, was on fox news there were a lot of people talking about the minimum wage and-- the workers strike. it's so-- they were so brutal in their complete contempt for fast food workers. and referring to these, you know, minimum wage like these were jobs that you get when are you 16.
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>> rose: a guy made that point. one of them made that point wchblts these are not 16-- was great. 28 years old with kids. and it just felt like punching down in the worst way. like really, dislocating your shoulder, are you punching down so hard. >> rose: exactly. >> and it felt so contempuous. an we've really not done much about fox news at all this summer. that day, i was so a anything. >> you were unloading. >> from the morning meetings. those morning meetings you are just taking in poison and trying to find a way to distell that into something which is funny and palatable or at leith cathartic at the end of the day. >> why haven't you done -- >> it's been so fast. like there's been-- there's been so many other things of substance to talk about. >> does it seem like just yesterday you started this. >> yeah, it does, actually. it's gone quick. it's gone very fast. because certainly looking-- the first day that this is weird, isn't it? looking at september, i felt that's a long way away.
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and now we're not last week and i can't even believe it's gone so fast. >> rose: and you can't imagine how it's going to change your life? >> no, no. unless-- now i'm-- now you're making me nervous. have i really not addressed this in any way. >> rose: no, no, no. it's so -- did -- it is, by all, i didn't read every comment on the internet, but i read a lot of the critics. and what they're saying. and it's all-- it has nothing to do with jon. it's always all praise caesar. but at the same time there is a sense of man, you know, you stepped up and hit a triple if not a home run. >> oh, i really appreciate that. i triple . and will you to slide for third. >> rose: you stretched the double into a triple. >> the third base coach was saying don't come around. >> you went in head first and there's maybe an error. the point su are standing at third base. >> rose: yes, exactly. you're on. >> honestly, i really have not thought beyond just seeing jon when he gets back and saying okay this is what
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happened. here's your show back. am i fired. piece don't let me be fired. that's my dream conversation,. >> rose: or like to say in the hippocratic oath, first do no harm. >> believe me that was absolutely-- full hippocratic oath in the stars this summer, do no harm, do no harm. >> have this patient live. >> keep this patient alive, yeah. >> now is he seeing it at all. >> he's been watching some of it, yeah. he's in the middle east. >> does he give you notes. >> no he's been-- we talked a lot before he left. he was really generous with the time at a point where he didn't really have much. but yes, so i have e-mailed him questions. but he's-- we haven't talked about specific shows. he's just said, i think it's weird for him to watch. if it's weird for everyone else to watch it must be doubly strange for the man whose-- . >> rose: i don't watch when other people sit in the chair. >> yeah. i wasn't-- you just don't
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watch. >> i'm not a watcher. >> yeah. who sits in for you. >> rose: you, next time. >> that's right, that's it. that's my new role in america. i'm the substitute. i have tear away pants. i come in, welcome charlie rose is off for the summer, director transformer 6. >> rose: that's right. who knew that jon stewart was a film director. >> yeah. i know. look this is a passion project for him. >> rose: passion. because of the subject. i interviewed the same guy. used to write for "newsweek". >> yes, exactly. so tangentsally we are connected to this story, the show because jason jones was in iran. he does this piece,er inteviewer him. the green revolution emerges. he is arrested after we've gone. and this part of his 100 day interrogation, they say you met with an american spy. and jason literally in the joke spy outfit and that is the thing where he was saying no, this is a joke. and they went but-- there is
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a supply. and at that point he realized he was in real trouble. >> rose: dow not want them to think you're a spy. >> no, no, no, no. and if your defense of this is objectively a ridiculous comedy bit, when that doesn't work, you're in deep trouble. >> rose: except they make movies about things like this. >> right so, he wrote a book. jon loved the book. and he write screenplay. >> rose: argo movies like argo. >> right, right, right. exactly. and but yes soes's written the screenplay and directing it right now and will come back in a couple of weeks. and it will be done. it's a bold adventure he has been on. >> rose: is he excited about it. >> yeah. definitely. yeah, i mean look, he's put in, he's definitely earned the right to do this. >> rose: if are you were not a comedian, what would you be? >> oh boy. a frustrated comedian. a footballer. >> rose: but you thought about that. >> i thought, that was plan a. that was plan a.
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this is plan b. >> rose: plan a you decided that the athleticism is not here in the sufficient amounts to make me -- >> that is the absolutely the nicest way to put it. the athleticism is not here in sufficient amounts. that is a really nice way of having a coach say you're-- i would have preferred-- i would purchase preferred if they said john, the athleticism is not here in sufficient amounts it is not to be for you. >> rose: it was a terrible choice, i should have said -- >> there this is not a club in your bag, john. >> rose: not a club in your bag. >> so yeah,. >> rose: you actually thought about it for a moment. >> i dreamt about it for my childhood. not just thought about it for a moment. that was all i ever wanted in the world. >> rose: the other thing that interests me about comedians in general, number one, is you say failure is the best --. >> definitely. >> rose: you have to be able to know that people are look at you, wanting them to make them laugh and you have not
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done that. >> yeah, right. you tend to learn more as a stand up you learn more from bad gigs than good gigs because, you know, a good gig is that's what you are supposed to do. a bad gig you actually have to examine what did i do wrong. if i did nothing wrong, then you kind of stand your ground. >> do comedian does what you have been suggesting you do, think hard about things and also overthink about things? >> overthink. >> rose: do they really. >> yeah, because the problem with being a comedian is you probably have too much time to think about things and yourself. and neither of those things are particularly healthy. so yeah, you definitely overthink. that's the, one of the negative consequences. you think too much about stuff. >> rose: thank you for a great summer. >> it's been a true pleasure, it's been fun. >> rose: john oliver for the hour. thank you for joining us. we'll see you next time.
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